I’ve always had an admiration for cooks who can just throw together a recipe on a whim, adjusting according to how things are tasting. As someone who does more baking than cooking, I’m used to making minor adjustments, but at the end of the day following the rules (after all, randomly deciding how much baking powder to add typically doesn’t work too well). So, trying to stretch myself, I wanted to throw out two simple “non-recipe” recipes for Canada Day snackables that you can throw together in a few minutes without having to pull out your measuring cups. The idea is to just fine tune the taste with your tongue – and of course, I decided to play a little with two of the most iconic Canadian foods – maple syrup and beer. (For those of you who get palpitations from the pressure of making up your own quantities, I have taken pity and listed the rough amounts that I used in my kitchen)
Maple Balsamic Pecans
I love recipes with fewer ingredients than fingers on one hand! These sweet-savoury treats are mildly addictive on their own, but would work well as an addition on a salad or main dish too. While I like pecans, this should taste great on walnuts or almonds.
- maple syrup
- balsamic vinegar
- sea salt
Preheat your oven to around 325-350 degrees. Mix together your maple syrup and balsamic in a roughly 2:1 or 3:1 ratio (depending on how sweet you want it), and toss your pecans in the mix. Put them onto a foil or parchment paper-lined tray, and stick them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle a little sea salt on them once you pull them out, and let them cool.
I used: about 3/4 c of maple/balsamic mix, 2 c of pecans, 1tsp of salt
This is such a “sit down and watch the game” dip that it’s not even funny. Beer, cream cheese and more cheese? Throw in some bacon bits and watch it disappear before the second period. I like it with my broccoli!
- cream cheese (softened please)
- ranch dip mix
- beer (I used a lager by a local brewery)
- handful of cheddar, shredded
- chives, bacon bits – whatever extras you feel you want to throw in there
Stir in some ranch dip mix into your cream cheese until you’re happy with the flavour. Next, add beer and mix until it has a somewhat silky consistency, without getting runny. Lastly, throw in your shredded cheese and assorted ‘extras’, and you’re good to go!
I used: around 5oz of cream cheese, 1tbsp of ranch mix, 1/4 c of beer, 1/3 c of shredded cheddar